Our Team

Our Team

Ashley Servais, MPH

Research Manager

Ashley Servais, MPH, CCRP | (402) 559-2511 | Email   

Ashley is the manager of the Pediatric Research Office. She graduated from Boston University with an undergraduate degree in neuroscience and a Master of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology. She has a background in both clinical and bench research which has evolved into a research administration and management role. Outside of work, she likes to travel, spend time on house projects, and participate in a variety of fitness activities.  

Research Nurse Coordinators

Kym Abraham, BSN, RN

Kym Abraham, BSN, RN | (402) 559-2977 | Email

Kym graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. She has over 14 years of research experience which includes dermatology, rheumatology, infectious diseases, and gastroenterology research. Prior to joining the Pediatric Research Office in 2010, she was a clinic coordinator for 6 clinics at Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. She has two daughters and in her leisure time enjoys doing any activities you can do outside, especially kayaking and paddleboarding.

Angie Boettner, BSN, RN, CCRCAngie Boettner, BSN, RN, CCRC | (402) 955-8835 | Email
 
Angie has been a research nurse coordinator within the Children's Hematology-Oncology Department since 2009. She graduated with a bachelor's in biology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and a BSN from Creighton University in 2004. Angie has 13 years of pediatric experience and has worked as a research coordinator in both pediatrics and adult oncology. Personal interests include traveling with friends, triathlon, running, all things outdoorsy and petting every single dog encountered.
 
Carolyn Chamberlain, MPH, BSN, RN | (402) 559-3480 | Email 

Carolyn Chamberlain, MPH, BSN, RN
Carolyn received her Bachelor of Science in biology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, her Bachelor of Science in nursing from Creighton University, and her Master of Public Health degree from the University of Kansas Medical Center. Prior to joining the Pediatric Research Office in 2010, Carolyn was a Nurse Coordinator & Genetic Research Associate in the Department of Preventive Medicine at Creighton University (1996-1999), a Cancer Risk Counselor & Research Trials Coordinator in the Breast Cancer Prevention Center at University of Kansas Medical Center (1999-2006), and Nurse Manager, Clinical Studies in the Oncology/Hematology department at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (2006-2010).

Serena Gaines, MA, BSN, RN  |  (402) 559-0681  |  Emailgaines

Serena is a research nurse coordinator within Children’s Hematology/Oncology Department. She graduated in 2014 from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a BS in psychology. She then earned a MA in developmental psychology from the University of Nebraska at Omaha in 2016 and a BSN from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2017. Serena worked in the pre and post-op units as a staff nurse at Children’s Hospital and Medical Center before joining the PRO. Outside of work, Serena enjoys art/crafting, spending time with family and friends, and hanging out with her dog. 

Gabe Hansen, BSN, RNGabe Hansen, BSN, RN | (402) 506-0072 | Email

Gabriel is a research nurse coordinator at the Pediatric Research Office. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Union College. He has over 6 years of pediatric experience, including inpatient nursing as well as nursing research. He has participated in vaccine studies and his current research focus is in pediatric cardiology. Outside of work he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and art.

Lucinda Kustka, BSN, RN

Lucinda Kustka, BSN, RN | (402) 559-5698 | Email   

Lucinda attended Methodist College of Nursing and received her bachelor’s degree in nursing. She joined the PRO in 2016 but has been with UNMC for 15 years total. The first eight years she worked as a liver/intestinal transplant coordinator, and for the next five years, she was a nurse coordinator in the HIV clinic. She is interested in immunocompromised patients and how to help them manage their condition and has enjoyed learning the research process with critically ill children in the hospital. Lucinda is married with 3 boys in elementary school. Her family stays active with sports, friends and house projects.

Betty Oberle, BSN, RN | (402) 836-9300 | Email

oberleBetty is a research nurse coordinator with the Pediatric Research Office. She graduated from Graceland University in 1997, with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology Human Services. She then earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Graceland University in 1998. She has spent the past 20 years as a NICU and pediatric nurse coordinating care for this fragile population before joining the research team in 2019. Outside of work, Betty has a very active family that participates in football, wrestling, track, swimming, marching and symphonic band, jazz band, show band, vocal music, and dance.

Elizabeth Strudthoff, RN

Elizabeth Strudthoff, RN, BSN | (402) 559-1353 | Email 

Elizabeth is a pediatric research nurse who joined the PRO in November 2016. She has been a registered nurse for 26 years and obtained her BSN completion from UNMC in May 2020. She started in research in November 2016, with her primary research studies in the areas of orthopedics and Osteogenesis Imperfecta. She enjoys reading books, traveling, playing games/cards and being with family and friends.

Rachel Wellman, MS, BSN, RN, CCRC | (402) 552-9878 | Email   

Rachel Aikman, MS, BSN, RN, PCCNRachel is a research nurse coordinator working with the PRO and Nebraska Pediatric Clinical Trials Unit, a federally-funded project with a goal to improve research infrastructure throughout Nebraska. She attended Michigan State University, where she received a bachelor's in physiology and a master's in forensic biology. She was involved in bench research for several years before deciding to obtain her BSN. As a nurse, she worked in adult acute care for 5 years before returning to her research roots. In her free time, she enjoys reading, traveling, interior design, and spending time with friends and family.

Clinical Study Coordinators

Kelly Erickson, MPH

Kelly Erickson, MPH | (402) 559-1039 | Email

Kelly is a clinical study coordinator in the Pediatric Research Office. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in biology and French from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a Master of Public Health in epidemiology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and has had experience in both clinical and public health settings. Since joining the PRO in August 2016, Kelly has coordinated studies in cardiology, PTLD, cerebral palsy, infectious disease, respiratory ailments, and opioid withdrawal in NICU babies. When she is out of the office, she likes to travel, read, exercise and spend time with family and friends.

Jill Fahner, BS, CCRC | (402) 836-9749 | Emailfahner

Jill graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science.  She has been with Pulmonology and the Cystic Fibrosis team as a Clinical Study Coordinator since 2016. Her previous areas of research include psychiatry, oncology, allergy and asthma, and bone metabolism.  In her free time, she enjoys sporting events, running, CrossFit, re-purposing furniture, and the beach. 

Laura Fischer, MPH | (402) 836-9762 | Email fischer

Laura is a clinical study coordinator with the Pediatric Research Office. She graduated from Northwestern College with an undergraduate degree in Biology with an emphasis on health professions in 2009 and later completed her MPH in Global Epidemiology from the Colorado School of Public Health through the University of Colorado Denver in 2016. Prior to joining the Pediatric Research Office in December 2019, Laura spent the prior 8.5 years working on national and international surveillance studies pertaining to drug misuse and abuse, primarily regarding prescription opioids and prescription stimulants. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading, hiking, and cheering on her Denver Broncos.

Denise Hoover, BSDenise Hoover, BS | (402) 559-0686 | Email

Denise graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Nebraska-Kearney. She received her degree in comprehensive biology with a business option. She has been with UNMC since 1999, working in a human molecular genetics laboratory. She has been in the Pediatric Research Office at UNMC as a clinical study coordinator since 2015. Her professional interests include genetics and rare diseases.

Sara Jones, RD, LMNT

Sara Jones, RD, LMNT | (402) 559-1747 | Email 

Sara is a clinical study/dietitian coordinator in the Pediatric Research Office. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science in dietetics and completed her Dietetic Internship from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln as well. She began her career in clinical research at a private practice OB/GYN office in 2009, before joining the Pediatric Research Office in 2014. Her primary clinical research focus is in rare metabolic diseases. She also works as a dietitian in the Pediatric Metabolic Management Clinic. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her children and husband and working on DIY projects.     

Kristin Malone, BS, CCRPKristin Malone, BS, CCRP | (402) 559-1139 | Email

Kristin is the research contracts specialist for the Pediatric Research Office. She graduated from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln with a Bachelor of Science and is a Certified Clinical Research Professional. She has prior experience in healthcare, risk management, and insurance; she transitioned to working as a research coordinator in 2006 and came to UNMC in 2015. Outside of work she spoils her grandson, does home renovations, creative projects, gardening, and volunteers.

Evan Roberts, MBA  |  (402) 547-1954  |  EmailEvan Roberts, BS, MB (ASCP)

Evan is a clinical study coordinator in the Pediatric Research Office. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in biology and recently graduated with his MBA from UNMC. Evan has worked in a variety of research and clinical laboratory roles starting with the Biological Process Development Facility at UNL, specializing in producing recombinant proteins via biological fermentation then transitioning to Molecular Genetics at UNMC where he specialized in Next-Generation Sequencing. Evan has been with the Pediatric Research Office since 2019. Outside of work, he enjoys volunteering with Special Olympics, reading, various fitness activities, and spending time with his wife as well as with friends and family.

Max Twedt, PhD  |  (402) 670-8979  |  EmailMTwedt

Max is a clinical research coordinator in the Pediatric Research Office. He is a doctoral candidate at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln in the field of Biomedical Engineering. Max provides biomechanics and ultrasound support for orthopedic surgeons conducting research. Outside of work, he enjoys podcasts and tossing a Frisbee.

Clinical Study Coordinator, Research Technician

Luke Murphy, BS, MPS

Luke Murphy, BS, MPS | (402) 836-9736 | Email

Luke is a clinical study coordinator and research technician who joined the PRO in December of 2018. He received his Bachelor of Science in biology from Rockhurst University, his Master of Perfusion Science degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, and is currently pursuing a Master of Public Health from UNMC. He spent over two years working as a Perfusionist, operating the Heart-Lung Machine during heart surgery. Outside of work, he enjoys traveling, hiking, fishing, and working out.

Clinical Study Coordinator, Research Database Coordinator

Nicholas Reynolds, MS | (402) 836-9238 | Email

reynolds
Nicholas is a clinical study coordinator and research database coordinator in the Pediatric Research Office, joining in November 2019. He received his BS in Exercise Science in 2015 and his MS in Biomechanics in 2017, both from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. He has spent 6+ years doing research in areas such as Parkinson’s disease, individuals with transtibial amputations, and nonlinear analysis. In his free time, he enjoys the outdoors, athletic events, and collecting and listening to vinyl records.
 

Research Data Analyst, Nebraska Pediatric Clinical Trials Unit

Ellen Kerns, MPH, CPH | (402) 955-6038 | Email

El Kerns, MPH

El is the data manager for the Nebraska Pediatric Clinical Trials Unit, a federally-funded project with a goal to improve research infrastructure throughout Nebraska. She graduated from the University of Missouri-Kansas City with a Bachelor of Science in biology with a concentration in bioinformatics. She later obtained a Master of Public Health with a concentration in epidemiology and informatics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and completed a fellowship in epidemiology at the National Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) branch of the CDC. She has experience working with all aspects of research data infrastructure from the point of entry through analysis. When not at work, she enjoys reading, biking, and traveling.

stewart

Data Coordinator

Sharissa Stewart, BS, CTBS | (402) 552-9894 | Email

Sharissa is a data coordinator within Children’s Hematology/Oncology department. She graduated from Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in Biology through their honor college. Prior to joining the Pediatric Research Office, Sharissa worked for five years at Nebraska Organ Recovery as an Advanced Procurement Coordinator. Her experience there led to her becoming a Certified Tissue Bank Specialist through AATB, the American Association of Tissue Banks. Sharissa enjoys spending free time with her husband and their two dogs. She also likes to travel, visit with family and friends, attend concerts, and do escape rooms.
 

Grant WriterMatthew Sandbulte, PhD

Matthew Sandbulte, PhD | (402) 836-9740 | Email

Matt joined the PRO team in June 2019 as he filled the new position of Grant Writer for CHRI. He earned a PhD from Iowa State University and has 20 years of laboratory research experience, including a track record investigating immunity to influenza viruses. Matt is here to provide strategy and writing and editing support for CHRI investigators in the creation of high-quality grants, manuscripts, and other scientific communications. He is also spearheading a research-focused newsletter for the CHRI community.

Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatric Cardiology, Research Sonographer

Ling Li, MD, PhD, RDMS | (402) 955-8897 | Email

Ling Li, MD, PhD, RDMS

Ling Li graduated in a combined MD/PhD program from Xiangya Medical School, Central South University, China and the School of Medicine at Yale University. She is also a sonographer who is registered in fetal echocardiography, obstetrics, and gynecology over 10 years. She has been with the Pediatric Cardiology research team since 2011. She has had extensive experience generating clinical research projects, performing imaging, basic biostatics, image post-processing and writing abstracts, manuscripts and grants and co-authored 30 papers and 67 abstracts.

Lead Research Sonographer

Mary Craft, RDCS, FASE

Mary Craft, RDCS, FASE | (402) 955-8896 | Email

Mary Craft is a cardiac sonographer who is registered in adult, pediatric and fetal echocardiography. She has been performing echocardiograms for over 30 years and is a Fellow of the American Society of Echocardiography. She joined the UNMC Pediatric cardiology research lab in 2014 with her main role in performing the ultrasound scanning. She also performs data analysis, and aids in the writing and submissions of IRB applications. Outside of work, she volunteers quite a bit at her church and loves spending time with her family.

Research Finance and Billing Coordinator

delforgeMichael A. Delforge Jr, MBA |  Email

Michael is the Finance and Billing Coordinator for the Pediatric Research Office. He received his Master’s degree in Business Administration from Grantham University. He is a retired Air Force veteran with over 21 years of active duty service primarily working as a Budget Analyst, Financial Manager, Resource Advisor, and Disbursing Agent. Michael is married with 3 daughters and enjoys family time, watching sports, staying fit, traveling, music, movies, and home renovations.
 

Clinical Research Associate

Marie Neumann, BS, MA | Email

Marie Neumann is a Clinical Research Associate with the Pediatric Research Office. She received her Bachelor Degrees in public health and sociology in 2011 and earned a Master's Degree in sociology in 2016, all at the University of Washington in Seattle, WA. In her previous position, Marie managed a mixed-methods study of early-career researchers across a number of African countries for the Global Young Academy. As the parent of a young child with a critical medical condition, she has become intimately familiar with the value of and need for research in pediatric populations. Marie works with Dr. Meaghann Weaver on a number of research projects in pediatric palliative care.